Tuesday, May 15, 2007

good lord, this is some ignorant nonsense

Read it all here. Or better, don't. These people assert such things as the following with regard to Father Ephraim Radner's latest essay:

I believe Ephraim Radner is mistaken on several issues right from the start in this and other pieces he has written. He revels in academic theology or what could be called abstract theology – and so he misses out on making the connections with the Christian faith as it is lived out. [Translation into normal-speak: "Radner is too concerned with some outdated mess called "rational thought" to realize its okay for people to have sex with whomever they want."] While theologians must possess the analytical tools necessary to their trade, they must also show some evidence of human engagement over the issues with which they struggle; otherwise, their theology ends up being vapid and their conclusions divorced from the incarnational roots of our Christian faith.

"Incarnational roots of our Christian faith"??? Give me a break. This is the kind of I-feel-so-warm-and-fuzzy opacity that could only come from a generation weaned on hash pipes. "Don't bother us with books, consistency, or thought."

Radner misunderstands the vocation of Christians on the local level, on the diocesan level, on the level of our national churches and provinces and Communion – and even on the broadest possible level, the worldwide church of God, expressed in the work of the multitude of the various denominations as the full Body of Christ! Our vocation as Anglicans worldwide is not the same as the vocation of the Friends (Quakers), the American Baptists, the Greek Orthodox, or the Moravians. God allots the spiritual gifts as necessary for the entire vocation of the fullness of the church. Radner’s view of the church seems the equivalent of going to the circus to watch two and a half hours of elephant acts. A decent circus has elephant acts, but it also has trapeze artists, clowns, performing seals, balancing acts, horseback riders, jugglers, and people selling popcorn. That is the way St. Paul saw the church, and that is the way Jesus chose his apostles.

What? For Radner to be accused, by ignorant kibitzers, of "misunderstanding" ecclesiology is too absurd to merit comment. (I'll comment anyway.) In fact, Radner has written a book on the subject. But Episcopal Majority would probably find it "vapid" because its too well researched, and because its preoccupation with "theology" ignores "the incarnational roots of our Christian faith". My advice to Episcopal Majority would be that they read it anyway. They might learn something. On the other hand, I applaud their honesty in admitting their view that decent churches are like circuses, with trapeze artists, clowns, and performing seals. That sounds about right for practitioners of the New Religion that is ECUSA .

The bit quoted above is followed by more chowderheaded displays of anti-logic, including a little diatribe about how its "ironic" that the same bishops who don't like women's ordination also don't like revising the list of virtues to include sex outside of marriage. I wonder what Episcopal Majority thinks "irony" means?

Then they describe the catholic position on holy orders as "fairly peculiar". How interesting. Perhaps they mean to connote the ecclesiastical sense of "peculiaris", with reference to an extra-diocesan or extra-provincial jurisdiction? But I suspect such a use would be beyond the limits of their ambition. More likely, they just mean "peculiar" in the everyday sense of "odd" or "unusual". Apparently this is just another instance of the darknening of senseless minds (Romans 1.21), of protesting wisdom on one's descent into foolishness.

St. Paul points out that mental illness and moral depravity often go together in faith communities. Calling Iker, Schofield, and Ackerman "peculiar" for their theological convictions reminds one of Schori's recent rebuke to Archbishop Akinola who, according to Schori's obscure logic, is "violating the ancient customs of the Church" by providing episcopal care to the American orthodox. As one blogger (not an Anglican) put it:

I kid you not. The female head of a church with a practicing homosexual bishop planning to "marry" his lover, a church that could accept into seminary the adulterous homosexual governor of New Jersey, a church that embraces splitting open babies' skulls and vacuuming their brains out, is complaining about violating ancient customs? Wow.
If you like Mad Magazine, you'll probably like Episcopal Majority's new article.

1 comment:

Marshall Montgomery said...

Interesting take. I have written my own reflections, which you may find here and here if you are so moved!